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Russia Today, T&R Productions & ANO TV-Novosti FARA

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Posted on May 22 2018

Updated to include the Guilty Plea & Plea Deal for:

Case 2:13-cr-00344-TJH

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs. Defendant ALEXEI IAZLOVSKY

(see bottom of entry for the twitter thread)

 

Russia Today (RT) & FARA

...buh bye

 

On November 13, 2017 the DOJ-OPA issued a press release, it reads in part (notice who made the announcement and is extensively quoted throughout the press release):

 

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente announced today that T&R Productions, LLC (T&R), a Washington, D.C., corporation, registered today with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as an agent for ANO TV-Novosti, the Russian government entity responsible for the worldwide broadcasts of the RT Network (RT).  The National Security Division’s FARA Registration Unit is reviewing T&R’s filings for sufficiency.

 

Americans have a right to know who is acting in the United States to influence the U.S. government or public on behalf of foreign principals,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente.  “The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing FARA and expects compliance with the law by all entities engaged in specified activities on behalf of any foreign principal, regardless of its nationality.”

 

You can can read the full DOJ-OPA press release, here

 

Upon RT’s FARA registration, the United States Congress through their Radio Television Correspondents Gallery revoked Russia Today’s and T&R Productions Press Credentials, effective immediately ( November 29, 2017), you can read the RTCG’s letter, here 

Am I the only one thinking, erm...why was Russia Today even granted Press Credentials, at all? They are NOT an actual news organization, they ARE Russia’s “embedded” propaganda machine but as of late Trump News, I mean State Run, dang it I mean Fox News is Trump’s number one propaganda network so yanking Russia Today seems, perfunctory...

RT press credentials yanked

 

T & R Productions, LLC & ANO TV-Novosti

On page 2, they purport to be a NGO. Non-Government Organization, which is ironic, given pages 5-85, ratified contracts for 2014-2017, see the appendixes

You should read them, link T & R Production LLC contract with Russian Government, RT or their production company are NOT an NGO. They are playing a game of shell corporations to hide their real purpose 

an NGO organized under Russian Federation law, principal has primary responsibility for creating a TV network that will be competitive with other TV networks operating around the world.” 

 

 

 

2014 Ratified Contracts:

Pages 5-85 are actual Contracts executed on behalf of the Russian Government, Russia Today, T & R Productions and ANO TV-Novosti. It’s also clear that a monthly payment was made from Russia to these entities...this contract was ratified on July 23, 2014.

What I found interesting but not suprising is Russia regains control over ALL articles, videos and production.

The Appx titles are somewhat noteworthy too.

Under the 2014 Russia & RT contract T & R Productions, LLC created the following (and no unlike some pandering twitter celebrities I’m not nor will ever tweet or blog about the “content” Russia Today):

 

Boom or Bust Segment:: marketed as a show on Oil, Planes & Crypto; Contract mandates  >420 minutes per month (see page 48 of FARA)

 

The Big Picture with Tom Hartmann” disappointing I liked (operative word & past tense) Hartmann but after realizing he was employed by Russia Today for 7+ years I will never listen or watch him again. Contract mandates >920 minutes per month. (see page 49 of FARA filing)

 

Breaking the Set” No longer on the RT propaganda network. Contractually obligated >312 minutes per month. But it’s worth pointing out the former host iresigned on air. Her name is Abby Martin. Many in the competing media erroneously reported and sadly it’s still reported that Ms. Martin resigned over Russia’s aggression and use of military force resulting in the annexation of Crimea into Russia. From my POV I don’t think that’s the real reason she resigned. Based on a bit of research, IMO it appears Ms. Martin resigned out of editorial liberty or lack thereof, coupled with what appears to be the RT management telling her to apologize, engage in disinformation, essentially active measures. Her resignation appears to have been grounded in Journalist Integrity vs animus that Russia invaded another sovereign nation and engaged in a taking. But I could be wrong in my assessment of why she resigned. 

 

 

2016 Contracts:

Pages 33-36 appear to be a “contract extension of the 2015 contract” with three riders.

 

Ed Schutz (Gawd I can’t believe he went to RT) Notice the second contract term? 

Shall be no less than 312 minutes per month”

 

All programming rights are turned over to Russia, see item # 3 

 

On Contract 

Only contacted for 78 minutes, a month and again all creative control is handed back to Russia. Not awesome and note the redacted monthly payment for this “show”. Face meet desk...

 

Redact Tonight

Again look at who “owns” the footage, website entries all owned by the Russian Government. Also this program is only contested for 70 minutes a month...

 

 Russia Today, 4 FARA Filings:

You can read RT’s Exhibit AB 85 Page FARA filing, here

Russia Today’s Registration Statement, I am surprised the DOJ let this fly...see page 1 & 5 of their Registration Statement, here 

 

RT Short Form FARA Filing, here

🚨 Mikhail V. Solodovnikov, U.S.A.General Manager (and Sole Member of Limited Liability Company) earns $650,000 per year. Man I am in the wrong line of work. Oh wait no I’m not. I’d never be paid to push Russian Disinformation & Propaganda, ever. Looking at you Fairbanks et al...

 

 

RT Exhibit C FARA filing found, here

 

After a bit of digging I was able to locate what -appears- to be ANO TV-Novosti’s 2014 Russian Federation Tax Filing.

🚨 in general I am NOT a fan of Wiki. If you notice on Twitter I cringe when someone tweets at me & their data source is wiki. It’s not them, it’s really me. So what I’m about to post I would caution you to be skeptical as to its authenticity.

After quadruple checking, I have a high confidence that this pdf file is the real deal...otherwise Radio Free, BBC, Al Jazeera have all been snookered. Again just to reiterate I am not 100% certain to the authenticity but I’m >98%  translation/edits are in red. Link to ANO TV-Novosti’s 2014 Tax Filing, pdf found here 

 

 

You might ask why does this matter and Spicy did you did a hole that you can’t find your way out?

Here’s WHY this matters, in the context of Putin pouring $30M into Russia Today (see 2005 Archived CBS Article, here) and every year since 2005 the Russian Federation has a line item in their Government budget. At first you’d never know the Russian Federation funds ANO TV-Novosti because Putin is clever, he hides the government funding under the “cover” of Diplomacy & Arts program. I used a web-Russian to English translator. Here’s the link to RU’s budget notice the TIN, ORG & CPR numbers are the same as the tax document? Yep one in the same 

Russian Govt line item budget for RT, here

Since 2005 Putin has poured hundreds of millions into Russia Today. That not me being hyperbolic, it’s what numerous news outlets have reported. Case in point see this 2014 Moscow Times Article where it was reported for 2014-2016 Putin allocated  >$710million in Russia Today. Article found, here

 

My hypothesis is Russia Today was the LONG play for Putin & Russia. Of which they heavily invested in this political information warfare (as detailed in the February 2018 Indictment, specifically on page 6)

 

Link to the February 2018 Indictment here 

In closing:

Hypothetically speaking let’s say you want to know what’s going on in the halls of DC, what better way to find out by purporting your organization as a “real news organization”. And as crazy as this sounds, has our Government swept any and ALL Government buildings where Russia Today had access?

I know that sounds crazy but I am genuinely surprised that Congress hasn’t asked this question, at least in public and I’m disappointed that Congress hasn’t hauled in former Russia Today on-air “talent” and forced them to testify under oath. Whether Americans unwittingly or wittingly assisted Russia in pushing their disinformation and propaganda is inmaterial to me. If Americans aided and abetted a known hostile foreign adversary there needs to be atonement. Full Stop.

In early April 2018 RT pulled the plug from the DMV area airwaves...see April 2018 WTOP Article, here.  True story I drive by their building at least three times a week and everytime I do I give them the middle finger salute.  

 

Russia Today Anchors QUIT

Russia Today Anchor Quits over MH17, the plane shot down over Ukraine & Russia blamed the Ukraine Government, which was untrue, Ukraine didn’t shoot the plane down, RUSSIA DID

 

 

Russia Today Anchor Quit on Air: 

“I cant be on a network that’s funded by the Russian Government, that whitewashes Putin’s Actions. I’m proud to be an American 

 

 

 

And then Abby Martin resigns, to be clear (as I said further up) to me the reason Martin resigned appears to be more on the Editorial aspect versus Russia Today being funded by the Russian Government.

 

 

The LAST time Congress held any hearings on Russia Today was in 2015, personally this overt and willful (yes House GOP I’m looking right at you) “there’s nothing to see here” well it’s offensuve. I think interviewing former Russia Today “on air Talent” particularly those who worked for RT during 2016-present would offer lawmakers and the American people a fulsome picture of what Russia and their Propaganda TV actions were, especially during the 2016 election.

Until then, here’s a video of the last time Congress had Russia Today employees testify, its worth watching.

 

I would encourage you to go read the written Testimony and watch the hearing, it’s astonishing to me that the current Congress won’t even acknowledge that Russia is winning the hybrid-information war.

Link to the Senate Foreign Affairs March 14, 2015 Committee Hearing - 

Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information  here

Specifically read  Ms. Wahl’s Written testimony, found here.

perhaps it’s time to call upon Congress to maybe do their JOB? Who knew Government OverSight was so hard or that maybe upholding our Constitution and respecting the Founding Father’s framework of our Government, 3co-equal branches would be something the GOP would ignore and ignore. -Spicy Out

Woopsie forgot to add the Forner RT president’s guilty plea AND plea deal, he funneled millions of dollars and never paid taxes on them. The whole let’s set up a shell company is straight outta Putin abd Trump’s business model. Don’t ya think?

 

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